Redox state of microbial extracellular polymeric substances regulates reduction of selenite to elemental selenium accompanying with enhancing microbial detoxification in aquatic environments.

Author(s) Zhang, X.; Fan, W.Y.; Yao, M.C.; Yang, C.W.; Sheng, G.P.
Journal Water Res
Date Published 2020 Apr 01

In nature, many microorganisms show resistance to toxic selenite by reducing selenite to non-soluble and low toxic elemental selenium. Extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), a high-molecular-weight biopolymers originated from microbial metabolism, contain many reducing groups and can induce reductive transformation of pollutants. However, the roles of EPS and its redox state in reductive detoxification or reduction removal of selenite, respectively, remain unknown yet. Herein, the reduction of selenite by different sources of EPS was investigated. Selenite was proved to be reduced by EPS and partly transformed to elemental selenium. The formed elemental selenium was mainly selenium nanoparticles confirmed by transmission electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive spectroscopy. The redox state of EPS governed selenite reduction and elemental selenium formation, and the reduced state of EPS was in favor of selenite reduction. Dissolved oxygen concentration in water regulated EPS redox state and influenced selenite reduction. The thiols, aldehyde and phenolic groups in EPS were responsible for selenite reduction. Under selenite stress, EPS was capable of increasing cell survivability by enhancing microorganisms-mediated selenite reduction. This work revealed the previously undiscovered roles of EPS in selenite reduction and elemental selenium formation in aquatic environments and also suggested a possible crucial role of EPS in selenium biogeochemical cycle.

DOI 10.1016/j.watres.2020.115538
Keywords Extracellular Polymeric Substance Matrix; Nanoparticles; Oxidation-Reduction; Selenious Acid; Selenium
ISSN 1879-2448
Citation Water Res. 2020;172:115538.

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